Last modified: 2012-03-01 (work in progress). Epistemic state: divinely inspired.

Thus have I heard.

A monk, called the third son of the twin, met the Spouter of Lies in a forest near the region of Kyffhäuser, where they now say the dead king lies waiting. The monk heard this tale from the Deceiver, and told it to a monk, called the Hun, who told it to a monk, called the second son of the Persian, who told it to the elders, who have preserved it for many years, and who have finally told it to me.

This is a story about the forgiveness of sins. I will tell it as I remember it.

A wandering prophet was passing through the land. The monk had heard strange tales about him. He had hoped he might have come from the Holy Land, but was disappointed to find a man who looked just like the common people. However, he had heard that the prophet spoke Hebrew, so he sought him out.

The prophet welcomed the monk to join him on his travels. The monk found that the prophet really was fluent in the language of the Jews, so he used the rare opportunity to discuss some aspects of the Law with him. The prophet seemed to enjoy the company, and they talked for many hours until they had to make rest.

The next day, the monk asked the prophet, “Who are you? How have you learned these things? Not many priests come this way, yet you seem like a wise scholar.”. The prophet said, “Oh, I am no scholar. I have been known by many names, few of them flattering.” “Are you a heretic?” “More than that.” As he said this, he revealed a mark on his left hand, one all monks know.

“You are the Deceiver!” “And the Spouter of Lies, the Enemy, the Betrayer, the Serpent that Strangles the World, and many other things as well. But maybe you could call me Magnus. This is what they called me a long time ago, back when I learned the language of the Jews. Would you still like to hear this story?”

“… Yes, Magnus.”

“This was a long time ago, when Queen Alexandra reigned in the Holy Land. I had been a soldier in the armies of many Germanic tribes, but eventually, we were defeated and I was sold into slavery. They brought me south, to the city of Rome, but after some years of servitude, I was sold again to a man in Jerusalem. The gods favored me, and so a terrible storm destroyed the boat we were traveling on. I survived, but was stranded in the desert.

I wandered around for days until, finally, I met a Jewish ascetic. He carried very little food, but was willing to share it with me. We traveled for a long time and became good friends. I helped protect him from bandits and stray dogs, and he taught me his language and the law of his people. He died in the desert, where I buried him.

I was near the Sea of Galilee at the time, and the people had heard about the strange man who knew their tongue, so one day I was approached by a group of Jews. They were very distressed and told me they needed my help. You see, a friend of theirs had been making sacrifices to Helios, probably so as to become a priest of the god, and there had been a terrible accident. They brought me to his house, but refused to get inside because there was blood everywhere, and touching it would render them unclean. Their friend, who was later called Yeshu, had tried to sacrifice a goat, but the animal survived his attempt to slaughter it and attacked him. He was knocked out in the ensuing panic and the Jews feared the goat would destroy much of the valuable scripture in Yeshu’s house.

Thus, I was sent in to clean up the mess, and so I did. The Jews thanked me greatly, but more importantly, I had come to Yeshu’s attention. Once he learned that I was a true gentile who knew their language, he realized I was the missing piece in a plan he had been working on for years.

As you have probably heard, within the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was the foundational stone of the world, which was engraved with the name of God himself.”

“The holy Tetragrammaton!”

“Exactly. Now, it was said that whoever knew this name would have great power. Of course, Yeshu had to have it, and if I helped him, I would be allowed to learn it myself. The elders, knowing how dangerous the name was, protected it with a special spell. They had done a ritual so that whoever entered or left through the gate would forget the name immediately. They cursed every part of the human body, such that within the temple, it could not contain the holy name, and they made sure no-one brought any parchment with them. A fool would try to remember the name, but it would slip his mind. He would try to scratch it on his arm, but the wound would heal right away. So they thought themselves safe. Unfortunately, never expecting a gentile, they forgot one part of the body.”

“You don’t mean…?!”

“The foreskin, correct. Yeshu had created an elaborate disguise for me and successfully convinced the elders that I was a wise scholar from a faraway land, visiting the temple, and so he smuggled me inside. I probably don’t have to give you the details, but I managed to recover the name. I taught it to Yeshu and we parted ways. From what I have heard, he got into trouble with the elders and died later in some riot, but this was a long time ago and I have forgotten much.

This is where the story should end. The gods have not been so kind.

When I read the name, it took on a life of its own. The letters spoke themselves, again and again. They stayed inside my head, chanting in endless repetition. But unlike Yeshu and the many prophets before him, I did not seek power from the name, nor did I worship it. I was merely curious. So I listened.

  • God chooses Magnus

  • meeting with John the Baptist

  • mission as descent into hell

  • meeting with Kerghan in hell

  • denial of God

  • God hoping for reconciliation

  • God being drained out of the world

the unchanging gospel » apocrypha » evangelium teutonicum